Bradford radio series shortlisted for prestigious award

'Christmas Away Fans’, a Bradford-based radio series, has been shortlisted (here) for the Sandford St Martin Awards - the highly coveted awards for religious programmes which are presented at Lambeth Palace each summer.

Producer Luke Haley (left) says, “It’s brilliant that the series has been shortlisted, and I’m really looking forward (as well as being a little daunted) to going to Lambeth Palace  - although I won’t try to compete with the Archbishop hat-wise.”

Award winners over recent years include David Suchet, Rowan Williams, Melvyn Bragg, Ian Hislop, Rageh Omaar and Simon Schama.

Bishop Nick, who chairs the Sandford St Martin Awards, says, “The competition is always very high, so it’s an accolade just to be shortlisted. I wish Luke well and look forward to seeing him at Lambeth Palace!”

‘Christmas Away Fans’ is a comedy series made by Reach Beyond in Bradford. It focuses on five football fanatic dads (who find themselves in Bradford over the Christmas period) and their family strife as ‘the beautiful game’ threatens to take over their lives. The five, one-minute audio spots encounter each dad individually (ranging from Francois from France, to cockney geezer Ronnie) as they talk about footy and Bradford, the struggles of being a good father and husband and their reflections on all of this during Christmas.

Luke, who won in the under 25’s category at last year’s Jerusalem Awards, says, “The series is written and presented by Mark Roques (of RealityBites) and it was a great laugh working with him. We wanted to bring out the ‘earthiness’ of the Nativity story by using five very different characters. Bradford, as one of Britain’s multicultural cities, was the perfect backdrop to combine a variety of accents with the classic ‘straight forwardness’ of Yorkshire.”

Nick Mangeolles, from Reach Beyond, says, “I’m very pleased for Luke; particularly as he’s only 21 and chose to work with us as a radio producer instead of going to University - so this nomination, as well as his previous award, are a big pat on the back for all the hard work he’s put in over the last three years.”

Reach Beyond are currently making a similar production with Mark Roques for the UKRD network of commercial stations for this Easter.

Reach Beyond, 01274 51496901274 51496901274 51496



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